This curated gallery presents Modern Arabic art pieces, specifically those that represent modern Arabic poets such as Mahmoud Darwish and Adonis. Also included are pieces that may remind one of Picasso, but are actually by modern Middle Eastern artists. Some works are evocative of the struggle for freedom and liberation, while others are either more spiritual or sensual. Overall, each piece speaks with the voice of the Arab millennial, giving substance to what it means to live in exile and to search for one's own authentic voice amid a crumbing personal culture.

This beautiful portrait of the poet Mahmoud Darwish is expressive of the writer's fundamental philosophy that "the self exists within the other" and calls to mind Sufi sentiments of longing for the divine. Color is used expressively, alongside some Arabic script. To view the way color is used in this piece is to get a feel for Darwish's writing.
This modern Arabic homage to Michelangelo's Pieta seems almost surreal. Brighter colors towards the top accentuate the shadowy figures that make up the middle. Found here is a feeling of heartache, and dreariness. The light playing with the darkness gives this piece it's somber mood.One is given over to spiritual contemplation when viewing this piece.
This is a piece depicting two figurines, one male, one female, side by side. While left without title, one can surmise the intensity of these pieces. They are angular in their lines, not done in a realist fashion at all, but suggestive of something more raw but not quite primitive.
This is one of a few pieces in this collection that seems reminiscent of Picasso or perhaps some Cubist principles, although not entirely. Birds are depicted with firm, bold lines against a red sky. The question is, "red with what?" Perhaps the blood of the sunset, or something more sinister. Either way this piece seems to suggest escape or flight, perhaps from the unknown. Shapes are more suggestive than realistic, giving this piece a distinctive modern feeling.
This piece makes bold use of both color and shape. Lines colored brightly encircle the main figure, who seems to be a cross between a man and a dragon, or perhaps he is battling a mythic looking fish. Also coming through in the piece is a sense of pain,suggested by the colors, and the swirl of lines that seems to indicate fire. This is a passionate piece, with a loud voice, given it's use of round shapes and flame like colorings.
This piece, titled "The Chalice" can probably be said to be the most abstract in this collection. The overall shape centered in the painting is indicative of a chalice, but there is no clear, realistic representation. Black is used against a much paler, champagne color, and lines are soft, suggestive of peace, perhaps relaxation. This piece can also be said to be evocative of a good glass of wine with friends, all of the lines, shapes and colors seem to paint this image. One can also make a face out of what is on the canvas with closer, more imaginative inspection.
This piece, titled "The City" is done in three separate panes, all three in black and white. The intention here is not clear, but some Arabic script can be made out in the upper right pane. If this is meant to depict a bustling marketplace or downtown, it is done abstractly. There is a good deal of balance and proportion between the 3 panes, leading one to carefully inspect each one.
No collection of Middle Eastern artworks would be complete without a piece on Jerusalem. This is an excellent piece with a palm tree standing out against the background as if to suggest the longevity and history of the place. The dome of what may be the Dome of the Rock in the background. The entire piece is done mainly in a golden hued tone with the exception of the palm leaves. Keeping it monochrome, emphasizes the tree as well as the setting sun on the horizon.
This piece, especially, is evocative of the poetry of both Darwish and Adonis. Both deal with themes of identity being lost and then perhaps found in relationship to another human being. This picture of what looks like a rather alienated figure, is painted in shadows, using light for color more than color itself. It is questionable whether three figures are present, or one figure only with parts of him being reflected.
This depiction of Egypt is filled with all different types of lines and shapes. There are the strong triangular lines of the pyramid, as well as the smaller, square grids that are laying over it. Color is also profoundly bold in this piece, with an even smaller mesh in the upper two far corners. Also included are some soft lines that seem to depict flowers or leaves. This is a robust work, full of life.
This depiction of Arabic script on top of an orange-hued square shape, calls to mind how much language plays a role in freedom. "Towards Liberation" is a soft piece, albeit with an implied voice, that is accentuated by the folds in the paper, into neat, boxlike sections. The single color, along with the uneven lines of the writing make this piece more interesting in it's simplicity; there is still a mystery to it.
Finally, we come to the piece that showcases Adonis, one of the Arabic speaking world's most celebrated poets. The piece is made to look like an open book, one filled with poems of great beauty. It is simple, but takes on a three dimensional quality with the weaving and folding at the top of the middle of the book. This is a bare but distinctive piece, with the name of Adonis in English showcased on the title page.
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This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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